Han Vance attended the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City on April 5-8 in support of the memoir Golden State Genius.
(Author’s email: email@example.com)
(Photo by: Han Vance, Hotel Oceana)
We each came to understand that we wanted to be together forever, well before we dared to utter. Then we did, eventually, and it was just letting the truth out more than it was any sort of a revelation. And considering I was still in rewrite and final edit of my Cali travel adventure memoir at the time, we – I – postponed. It was untoward to move forward while clinging back like I was. And a memoir is nothing if not a cling back, especially when one of the strong themes of said memoir is divorce.
Speaking of divorce, she’d been through it, too. More recently, so her wounds were fresher. Mine were deeper, as I’d made grave mistakes last time around and though we all fall – I’d really fallen and failed. And I have two children; she has none.
Of note: we were married in the same facility in Atlanta, just not to the final spouse. This is final. This is real. This is forever. Forever – ever…
Her mom’s in poor health and shouldn’t travel. We’ve both done the whole big wedding thing before. We both know everybody and would have to offend or invite everybody. So, elopement was an obvious choice.
We traveled to Augusta and being a Southern gentleman I asked her dad, the Colonel’s permission, and he gave consent.
Dreaming of getting married in a beautiful out of country location like on a beach in Mexico or in the rainforest in Vancouver. Means legally nothing in the United States of America. You have to do it again, and we are trying not to do too much. So, USA.
The Texas hill country spawned me and is one of the least known-for-its-beauty, breathtakingly beautiful spots in America. It’s far enough – Charleston is not, Rosemary Beach is not – but Austin is not a beach. Hawaii is something we did last year to great expense and exhausted elation; we want a relaxation vacation. Since I’ve traveled Cali extensively, Jami said pick a place that’s not LA yet in Cali, maybe. So, Santa Barbara, the American Riviera.
And the Spanish-tiled Santa Barbara County Courthouse is noted as the prettiest government building in America. So, there.
This is a planned elopement. Dinner at Bouchon. Hotel on the beach. The dress. The rings. Thoughtful this and that. And here I’d like to mention my guys at JFL Corp. in Atlanta’s Apparel Mart. I’ve bought suits from Jerry and his dad for over 15 years now, and I recommend you fellas do the same. Selection, prompt onsite tailoring, and the unrivaled eye of Jerry Junior are reason enough to go. There prices are unbeatable, too. By appointment only: (404) 523-2498 or 1 (800) 767-2498, www.jflcorp.com. My new suit is midnight blue and totally crushin’ it. My tie and shirt are a gorgeous, regal lavender, and Jerry picked that out too.
Anyway, I came to realize there are four types of elopement:
1. Planned Elopement – as detailed above
2. Secret Elopement – hiding out from family, friends, ex-spouses, maybe the IRS
3. Emergency Elopement – bump of a bun in the oven and her dad has a big shotgun
4. Spontaneous Elopement – VEGAS, baby, VEGAS
Back when I was in school in ATHENS, GA, we used to listen to this heavy art rock band named BOB – not the same as the current ATL rapper but same city of origin, same name. My buddy Rob Vance – not a relative but same hometown, same drunken college town, same last name – found a BOB record – RECORD, not tape or CD – at a yard sale and bought it because he liked the cover art. I love free writing like blogging because – unlike a book – I can quickly go way off into tangential writing – like this – without concern. Anyway, we formed a small unofficial BOB fan club amongst our group of close friends; our universal favorite was called “Pope is…” That song is better than anything on rock or college radio today.
We road-tripped to ATL to see BOB play on Memorial Drive with several other local bands. Maybe a year later, BOB played in Athens at the famous 40watt club and came out to a small but overly-enthusiastic crowd … of us. We knew every word and riff to every song; we danced and swayed and rocked out hard, and they loved us. They were like, “Holy shit, fans.” For that one night, amongst our small cool group, they were stars – HUGE STARS playing rock music in an American headquarters of alternative rock music. Lead singer dude had this written on the back of his pants: “FAME ASS.” He never made it … but I will.
Guitar sensation, near-infamous tabloid media darling and world famous pop star, John Mayer certainly did. In Philips Arena the other night, he said he dreamed of selling out Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, then he dreamed of selling out Variety Playhouse in L5P. Philips Arena was sold out, beyond his wildest dreams of stardom.
I never exactly plan to sell out Philips Arena like Kobe Bryant does when he comes to town. But I will: have a best-selling book like F. Scott Fitzgerald did, speak to a full audience at the Cobb Energy Center as David Sedaris did. That’s right, fans and friends, your good dude Han Vance will someday be way more Fame Ass than BOB. I have no second thoughts about saying it aloud, because I have more talent than most, and much more importantly, I won’t ever stop until I get there, and when I do, I will say I told you so …. SAY IT AND DO IT!
Today, I have late dinner reservations at Wisteria in support of Inman Park Restaurant Week. My friend, Chef Jason Hill and I grew up together in Marietta, and he is Proprietor. The place is well-entrenched among the Atlanta acclaimed for his command of Southern food: modern and gourmet while at the same time classic. The fried chicken is bar none the single best in town, somehow lapping in my love the bird at Watershed in Decatur. The pork dish could be from Faulkner or Cold Mountain. And the shrimp and grits is no low, but dern if I did not feel like I was in the low country when they reached my jowl last time I was in, a couple of weeks ago, for my one year anniversary. Jami was so sweet and the mini-desserts are larger than thought and easily, so easily, made multiple. We enjoyed the pairing of Ice Wine and Coconut Pie the most. The bar and staff and building and wine and art are all just right. Right up the street from me, Jason has delivered the perfect blend of Atlanta and America -which is where we live my friends. America.
The Q33, through Queens, Queens Boulevard
And Calle Columbia which was thick
Entourage none, solo Han convention
Did I forget to mention my intention
Sell book soon, agent and sell book and
I really love this story, it’s the story of my life and
NYC from The ATL to sell a book about LA and SF and the rest of Cali
Free plane tickets for volunteering to bump with Buck in The Big Easy
Free couch surf but first, it was Jackson Heights-Roosevelt, then train
Downtown to NoLita, Houston and Mott, via Grand Central
Changing trains at Grand Central Station, rush hour, the sensation
the crush, the pulse, the beat of life – City Life – the beat of life
Like the Chrysler spike spiring and awe inspiring in the afternoon sun
I had fun. A good convention. I had schwagger. I walked a lot, saw a lot
Met the agents and pitched and it was well received
And it was The City – Manhattan – the center of the known universe
I was working in New York City for the first time
And that is what New York’s about:
try and hustle and heart and try and pizza and people and art and life
Stoop of NoLita House
Houston Street, Near Lafayette
Then The Puck Building
And Its Pluckish Sprite of A Figure
Puck Is Ready For Action
This Is NYC, So Alarm Clock
Prep, Prep, Step
Big Industry Day, Today
After Coffee Completion
Contemplation Of Grand Central Yesterday:
Tourists, Locals, Mets Fans,
People Here To Work
I’m Here To Work